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April 29, 2008

Awards celebrate contributions of industry's high achievers

The Annual IMEX Academy Awards took place at the trade show's Gala Dinner on 23 April and were met with widespread praise and applause by an enthusiastic industry audience.

Introducing the prestigious and popular ceremony, IMEX managing director Paul Flackett, who himself has worked in the international meetings industry for over 25 years, explained that the industry currently demonstrates more strength and depth than he can ever remember.

"I think we all recognise that this industry can be highly addictive. These Awards are a chance to shine a spotlight, albeit for a short while, on those personalities who work so hard, so enthusiastically and with such imagination to keep clients happy and deliver the right results," he said.

Norgine Centenary Conference won the 2008 Commitment to the Community 2008 Award. Norgine is a global pharmaceutical company based in the UK with offices across Europe, Australia and South Africa. The present chief executive is the grandson of the founder and the company has a strong tradition of family values and a desire to make a difference to the lives of its patients, employees and the broader community.

The company's brief to World Events for this landmark conference was that it "should combine business with motivation and teambuilding; be highly memorable with strong cultural appeal and, most importantly, that it should reflect the company's longstanding family values."

The winners of the 2008 IMEX Green Meetings Gold Award was Scandic Hotels. IMEX runs the only Green Awards in the meetings industry and the Green Meetings Award in particular has become a distinguished prize and important public acknowledgement for those meeting planners and suppliers committed to delivering environmentally friendly meetings and demonstrating tangible outcomes.

As a result, IMEX, together with green awards partner, the Green Meeting Industry Council, also now presents a Silver award, which this year was presented to the Unitarian Universalists Association (UUA) for a 2007 conference held at The Oregon Convention Center. Two ‘highly commended’ nominations were also made to the US Green Building Council and the British Standards Institute BSI for the meeting held to launch their new British Standards on Sustainable Event Management.

The awards also saw Malta named 2008 IMEX Green Exhibitor of the Year. In awarding this accolade to the Malta Tourism Authority, head of the judging panel, Amy Spatrisano, president of the Green Meeting Industry Council, paid tribute to the fact that the organisation "had gone the extra mile to demonstrate their green credentials where some might have been tempted to fall back on old habits".

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts secured the inaugural IMEX Green Supplier Award winners, of one the most successful and popular awards to be launched for this year’s show. The category was launched shortly after last year's event to recognise environmental excellence and innovation within the meetings industry. The Award represents the highest accolade for environmental responsibility among meeting suppliers.

Due to the exceptionally high volume of entries and their overall quality, judges decided to present both Gold and Silver Awards this year. In presenting the Gold Award to winners' representative, Kiaran Macdonald, general manager of The Savoy, London, IMEX chairman, Ray Bloom, explained how pleased he had been to see such a strong flow of good entries for the new award.

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